Film: 1439

History | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Short dramatised reconstruction of Nostradamus and his predictions relating to the French revolution convinces us of the accuracy of his clairvoyant forecasting.

Almost epic-style scenes of the revolution show bloodthirsty crowds clamouring for royal executions.
Dramatised re-enactment of 1555. Nostradamus as an old man sits at his desk writing by candlelight to his son. He reads aloud the letter describing "fantastic things of the future". Girl sleeping in the room.
Narrator relates Nostradamus' predictions regarding the French Revolution as his book is thumbed showing original quotes.
Re-enactment of the 1791 French Revolution. Crowds in the streets by night. Soldiers being brought in. The King looks over his balcony at the mob. Incognito, the Royal Family flee the palace.
Nos.' text again showing original quotes. Illustrations of the family in flight confirm Nos.' predictions.
Text mentioning "Saulce". The Royal carriage is seized by the townspeople under Saulce's orders. Illustration of the royals in disguise in Saulce's kitchen.
Honeycombs in close up. Wax candles in bunches. Thumbing through the book again. Text describes prediction relating to 1555 tile-works. Illustration of the tile works. Illustration of the Tuileries Palace. 1792 re-enactment of the mob who, as predicted, descended angrily upon the palace.
Re-enactment of the trial of Louis XVIth "taken and convicted" as Nos.' text is shown to predict. Text extract describes the beheading of the King. Great dramatised scene re-enacting the lusty crowds gathered to see the execution. The guillotine. The King's head is tossed into the jeering and drunken crowd [many extras holding flagons of beer].
Dramatised scene of Marie Antoinette desperate in her chambers. Nos.' text reads: "The Queen imprisoned, put to death by jurors". She is taken for execution in a carriage driving into the hordes of revolutionaries.
Text predicts downfall of the King's concubine. Guillotine falling as crowds cheer.
Hand flips through Nos.' book again finding prediction about the Queen's son. Illustration of his torture by jailors.
Angry crowds in re-enactment of the Revolution.
Further predictions in original text point to a future "humane government" and of peace. Nostradamus close up [actor]. People seated in a lecture hall. Crowds of people in USA. Ends with [now ironic] reference to USA's role as bringer of world peace.


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